The Federal Government’s War on America


The line between the “war on terror” and the “war on drugs” is blurring in our state as well as our nation. Only a few miles away from massive flooding, widespread devastation, and the impoverished Crow Indian Reservation residents who had nothing yet  lost everything ; our federal government is waging war on yet another state-licensed  medical marijuana caregiver.   Native Americans called  into radio shows yesterday to inform the outside world that several  communities have no clean drinking water and many residents haven’t had food in two days yet our tax dollars are instead supporting unconstitutional seizures perpetrated by a dangerous gang of economic terrorists, commonly known as our own federal government.

US House and Senate leaders have reportedly reached a bipartisan agreement to extend the Constitution-shredding Patriot Act after conducting shady back room meetings devoid of public input.  Although the votes were largely symbolic, both Montana’s senators voted no on Patriot Act cloture which passed 74-8. America massacred our boogeyman and through that process proved that we are capable of capturing and killing our enemies without trampling on the rights and privacy of our own citizens. Perhaps when Americans realize that the Patriot Act has been used primarily to rob and imprison American drug dealers instead of terrorists,  they will protest. Any doubt over which war the Patriot Act is actually fighting is erased after reading that in fiscal year 2008, 65% of all “sneak and peek” requests were drug cases and out of the total number (763) that year, only THREE of them involved terrorism.  The “War on Terror” was nothing but the vehicle for invasive policy changes to escalate our nation’s failed “War on Drugs” and 9/11 was the excuse.  No wonder the truth movement exists.

For those of you who don’t use marijuana and thus don’t care about what is happening in your country and your state as long as it involves cannabis, you may want to consider briefly what Ben Franklin said about sacrificing liberty for the sake of security. Someday it won’t be marijuana, maybe it will be your religion or God forbid, your firearms, but someday, YOU may hear a knock at the door from a heavily-armed team of friendly law enforcement officers who shoot your children’s pets, all in the name of public safety.

We currently  have a President who promised his administration would stop raiding medical marijuana facilities in states where medical cannabis is legal yet is on track to substantially exceed the number of such raids under the previous administration. Don’t expect such customary procedures as being able to read a warrant presented to you either- after all, you are guilty until proven innocent and will be treated as a serial killer until you are convicted- if you are ever even charged with a crime.  If you aren’t, no worries; the federal government will smash and grab as much as they possibly can, seizing every asset connected to you.   That way, you will have no way of hiring an attorney in your defense if the feds change their mind about charging you.

Montanans currently have a governor who “held his nose” to allow a bill (SB 423) he considered “unconstitutional on its face” to become law, thus expanding Montana’s black market drug market and eliminating safe cannabis access for our state’s ill.  Knowing the flawed legislation would likely be caught up in legal battles does not justify the governor’s inaction.  This battle will be long, difficult and expensive.

Montana’s legislature, whose members bragged about deleting the emails of cannabis proponents before even opening them sought to overturn the will of Montana voters countless times in the 2011 session.  Legislators scolded us for being in bad crowd, told us we were wrong in 2004 and declared that the use medical marijuana was similar to combining valium with arsenic .  Our leaders seized any opportunity to compare Montana’s medical marijuana industry to the  natural disaster du jour (Hurricane Katrina, Japan Tsunami) Our state is now faced with its own natural disaster.

Speaker of the House Mike Milburn: “We’re not talking about the dikes holding back the water anymore, we’re talking about how do you rebuild the city.”  This time, we aren’t talking about medical marijuana and we aren’t talking about Hurricane Katrina.  We are talking about Montanans in need- something Milburn doesn’t seem to care about.

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Montana Governor Brands “Black Market Bill” (SB 423) Unconstitutional


In a surprising move (surprising to me at least), Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer called Senate Majority Leader Jeff Essmann’s SB 423, “unconstitutional on its face”.  He expressed his intention to issue an amendatory veto on the legally defective legislation as he doesn’t believe it could survive a court battle in its current form   The legislation, which passed Montana’s House and Senate earlier this week has been nicknamed the “black market bill” by opponents who believe eliminating the medical cannabis industry will invite dangerous criminal elements engaged in drug activity to again control the supply of marijuana in Montana.

In an interview with Lee Newspapers State Bureau, Schweitzer was highly critical of the GOP-led 2011 Legislature, expressing his disgust for their “squandering”  of Montana’s 90 day biennial legislative session.  He asked,

“Why don’t you just pass something that works, that’s constitutional and that can survive the test of time?” he asked.

A bipartisan interim committee, after months of work, inspired HB 68, sponsored by Diane Sands (D- Missoula).  While nowhere near perfect legislation, it is difficult if not impossible to find patients or growers who would prefer Essmann’s bill to HB 68, which was tabled in committee.  A re-written version of SB 154, a gray bill sponsored by Republican Dave Lewis (and largely preferred by patients and growers) also received little support from the repeal-driven prohibitionist Republicans.  Referring to HB 68,  Governor Schweitzer said ,

“They threw that in the garbage and now they’re going to send me this (SB) 423, which everybody’s who’s read it says, ‘Oh yeah, it’s unconstitutional,’ ” he said.  “The bill as written is not going to survive the courts.”

Montana’s governor, who recently was featured in national news stories for calling Republicans in the state legislature “Bat-crap crazy” and for registering a “VETO” cattle brand with the state (with which he last week ceremoniously killed bills he considered foolish or unconstitutional) isn’t fond of a requirement in Essmann’s bill that requires Montana’s medical cannabis patients to carry their state licensing card with them at all times, regardless of whether or not they are in possession of marijuana.  Patients are also subject to warrantless searches of their homes at any time and names and addresses of those in the program are provided to local law enforcement officials.   Schweitzer believes such provisions to be violations of the 4th amendment, which protects Americans from unlawful searches and seizures as well as the  federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.

if you’re taking OxyContin or penicillin or for God’s sake, even aspirin, that is your own personal health care records,” he said. But HB423 is “demanding” that the fact that someone is using medical marijuana and “be turned over to law enforcement in every town.

Schweitzer too acknowledged the black market appeal of the legislation,

“There’s another problem with it, and I think it’s a fundamental problem,” Schweitzer said. “Under this bill, I will guar-an-dang-tee-you, that there will be more illegal marijuana (that) makes it to the alley under this proposal than we currently have because now you’re going to have 4,000, 5,000, 6,000 people growing their own. It’s not possible to monitor all of them.”

“I mean does someone with a straight face think you can have 5,000 people growing their own and none of it makes it to high schools or to college dorm rooms?” he said.

A severability clause was included in the bill, which ensures that, in the event of a court ruling striking components of the legislation, other parts of the bill remain viable.  Because of its inclusion, Schweitzer believes that Essmann and other Republicans are well aware that the bill is unconstitutional.

“Why don’t you just pass something that works, that’s constitutional and that can survive the test of time?” he asked.

That sounds far too easy for the TEA people-inspired Montana GOP, however.  This shouldn’t be about politics, it should be about doing the right thing for the segment of the population who Montana’s original medical cannabis law was designed to protect.  In efforts to eradicate all state-sanctioned medical use of cannabis, Montana’s GOP lawmakers for the past 90 days have resorted to tears, lies, and dramatic stories intended to convince the legislative body and public that our state is now considered a “source nation, like Columbia” our youth are prostituting themselves for cannabis, and that caregivers are selling marijuana in middle and high schools across the state.  Oddly enough, there have been no arrests made for any of those particular crimes.

Sponsor of the bill, Jeff Essmann cited recent correspondence with federal officials who “clarified” federal policy  in his bid to save our state from the evils of cannabis.  No word on whether he used such correspondence to ensure Montana is in compliance with federal law regarding wolves or implementation of federal health care reforms however.  We are all aware that the federal government knows best anyway, right?

Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”
– Federal Bureau of Narcotics Chief Harry J. Anslinger, 1929

Republicans in Montana have been hammered by those on the right this session as well as the typical lefty critics after various testimonies  in reference to  blow-dart murders, appropriate state prison sentences for gay recruitment, and the dangers of punishing DUIs were publicized on numerous news programs. While Republicans across the nation- including several GOP presidential nomination hopefuls- are advocating sweeping  marijuana law reforms, Montana’s Republicans are determined to move backwards as they promote their dangerously myopic “morality” agenda.

Highlights From Lowlifes: Montana’s 62nd Legislature


This legislative session it seems Montana is ALWAYS in the news.  We’ve made “The Colbert Report”, “Anderson Cooper 360”, Huffington Post, New York Times, CNN, and according to Speaker Milburn, he was interviewed by the Swedish World Federation Against Drugs on a radio show.  We have yet to confirm this interview’s existence with anyone other than Speaker Milburn, but he assures us that it exists, and naturally, we believe him.  After all, he is the one who informed us that Montana is now known as a “source country, just like Columbia” because of our massive marijuana exports.  Although the session isn’t quite over, as leadership needed a vacation, here are a few highlights from Montana’s 62nd Legislative session.

  1. ‎”I’m going to ask that we take a minute here and reflect upon our own hypocrisy.” Rep. Rob Cook R-Conrad. INDEED.
  2. “If Jesus Christ himself were here today he would be an opponent of this bill,” Harris Himes speaking against a bill to abolish the death penalty.  Yes, Rev. Himes, if you were in the chair, he may indeed approve.
  3. “It’s poison, a kind of poison, it’s kind of like taking arsenic with Valium in it – it will make you feel good until it kills you. That’s the truth.” Rep. David Howard (R-Park City) speaking about medical marijuana.  And we all know marijuana kills…. how many people annually?  That’s right Rep. Howard, ZERO.
  4. “It is God himself who said homosexuality is an abomination and he has various punishments for it….. they will surely be put to death”.  Rev. Harris Hines in testimony supporting discrimination of gays. Again, that death thing.
  5. “The most important reason to repealing medical marijuana is  that marijuana and its usage is offensive to God”  Rev. Harris Himes.  Himes may want to check out Genesis 1:29
  6. “He (Dr. Carlton Turner)  told us he’d take almost any of the other drugs- crank, heroin, methamphetamines under clinical  conditions- but he wouldn’t take marijuana.  Every time they’d done a human test on it, it scared him half to death.”— Rep David Howard admits FEAR motivates him to lie?
  7. I’ll never have my brother back,  we need to save others people’s brothers.— Rep James Knox, fighting tears as he pimped his brother for marijuana repeal while inadvertently advocating nanny state government.
  8. My birth mom told me had abortion been legal, I wouldn’t have been calling her.”  Rep James Knox testifying on house floor on an abortion bill, making a great case for post natal abortion.
  9. Open Cow, Open Woman, Rep Regier compares women to cows.  This one defies all explanation.
  10. There’s new ways to kill you know, in prisons, they take little pieces of paper.  They take their blood, their saliva and do blow darts on the guards, there are new and unique ways to kill.” —Rep Janna Taylor.  I’m not sure what Taylor is getting at here.
  11. “I also voted no on this bill, the body should know that the people who run ponzi schemes, they don’t have any money of their own…. I couldn’t imagine standing in front of my constituents in Park City, where none of them make more than $35,000/yr to say we’re gonna come up with a scheme to get back up to 25,000 of what people have lost investing…….”  –Rep. Dave Howard who thinks his constituency is poor.
  12. Two wrongs don’t make a right– Sen. Verdell Jackson referring to victims of rape and incest.  While I’m not a fan of abortion, I wonder if Sen. Jackson would feel differently if he had been raped.
  13. ‎”The only way I’d be supportive of that (Dept. of Ag regulating medical marijuana) is if they treated marijuana as a noxious weed.” –Sen. John Brenden (R-Scobey). I grew up in this senate district and I can tell you, nobody up there gives a damn about medical marijuana.  Brenden is a bit noxious himself.
  14. “Across the street from the church was a bevy of good-looking young ladies going in and out of this place……they were growing marijuana across the street…. I didn’t know such good-looking women were interested in horticultural prospects”– Rev. Harris Himes. Where do we find these guys? Himes is made for mockery!
  15. “I got a medical marijuana business who moved in next door to me and it’s been craziness ever since. You see ’em them behind their shop, behind the commercial building, they got their arms outstretched, they’re trying to fly. I find people sleeping in my vehicles in front of my business. A month and a half ago they buried a van.”– Austin Kaufman, Billings.
  16. Rep Ken Peterson: If women would make better choices they wouldn’t get cervical and breast cancer. So defund family planning already.
  17. If you act gay in public, Rep Ken Peterson wants your felon ass in jail for a decade.  Ten years in prison will teach you how to be straight, right?
  18. Steve Zabawa in SB 423 hearing: “Marijuana is illegal! The state of Montana is gonna get arrested!” Zabawa is no stranger to illegal activity, he does sell cars for a living.  He also hires most of his employees from the Alpha House, a halfway house for men returning to society after being imprisoned for major crimes. Several of his current sales and management staff are felons, actually.  A couple of them defrauded the federal government by filing false FEMA claims after Hurricane Katrina. After serving time, Zabawa hired them back!
  19. Sen. Ed Walker saying, “I don’t believe it can be reformed. It needs to be repealed. There are times the voters get it wrong, and that is what happened in 2004.”  I wonder if we may have also got it wrong in 201o when you were elected, Ed.  Just sayin’.
  20. Montana is now considered a “source country”, same as Columbia.“- Speaker Mike Milburn (R-Cascade) I wonder why anyone would bury a van filled with  marijuana if that is the case.  So many questions.
  21. “Sometimes the most compassionate answer you can give is no you don’t need this,” Senator Rowlie Hutton (R-Havre) said.  “When you love someone you are willing to do an intervention. I love this state, and it’s time we do an intervention,” concluded Hutton, who wants to take away medicine from the ill. Compassionate indeed.
  22. “The people who use medical marijuana for legitimate uses, they’ve been had. I think they probably feel like the dog who gets in the car and as they’re driving they realize they are going to the vet instead of the park. They got in with the wrong crowd,” testified Sen. Edward Walker (R-Billings).  The wrong crowd, Sen. Walker, spends time with you and your buddies at that creepy temple under the rims.
  23. Tough DUI laws “are destroying a way of life that has been in Montana for years and years,” said Rep. Hale.  But medical cannabis is WAY too dangerous.
  24. “Homosexuals can’t go out into the heterosexual community and try to recruit people, or try to enlist them in homosexual acts,” Peterson says. He provides an example: “‘Here, young man, your hormones are raging. Let’s go in this bedroom, and we’ll engage in some homosexual acts. You’ll find you like it.’” Peterson hasn’t actually seen this happen, he says, because “I don’t associate with that group of people at all… I’ve associated with mainstream people all my life.” Again, those mainstream people hang out at the LDS temple in west Billings.
  25. And then we have this beauty.  You be the judge.
Special thanks to Hiedi Handford of Montana Connect Magazine for editing and uploading the 300+ testimony videos.  Other legislative testimony can be viewed on her YouTube channel here

Speaker Milburn: Please Control Representative James Knox


Representative James Knox, Continues to Dig his Hole

I’d sure appreciate if Montana’s Speaker of the House, Mike Milburn, would assert some control over his representatives. I’m tired of defending their actions as well as defending myself FROM them, one in particular.  James Knox sent me an email a few minutes ago.

from Rep. Knox <james@vote4knox.com>
to Nicole French
cc Alicia Knox <alicia@kbscs.com>
date Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 3:00 PM
subject My lawyer will

Nicole,

I and my wife have printed all conversations and the message you have posted on the web is not in any of our history.  I ask that you email me the date your claim of this valid message else I will be taking legal action for slander against my wife.

Your call, I will.

James

_______________________________

 

James Knox, you asked for it so you’ve got it!  The date in question is April 5, 2011.  Would you care to look at the screenshot again?  Although I do actually like your lovely wife Alicia, I don’t care for dishonest politicians.  Just one time, I’d appreciate if you could accept the blame and move on- you could even try apologizing for your increasingly improper behavior. If I were you, I would be more concerned about the other allegations circling about you.  Here’s a screenshot anyway though, watch for any grammatical mistakes, as I’m sure they are the fault of someone else, perhaps George Soros.  I feel the need to remind you that Mr. Knox would NEVER use poor grammar….


Oh, but it gets even worse.  This evening, in reply to a letter sent by Hiedi Handford of Montana Connect Magazine, Rep Knox responded in a delightful manner- the exchange is as follows:

On Fri, 8 Apr 2011 15:28:05 -0600, “Rep. James Knox” wrote:

Montana’s across the state have clearly said repeal it.
Thank you,
Rep. James Knox
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES KNOX House District 47
406-534-9582
____________________________________
From: Hiedi Handford [mailto:hiedi@mtconnectmagazine.com]
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2011 3:32 PM
To: Rep. James Knox
Subject: RE: A message from the “Scourge” 

You are so full of shit Knox. Look beyond your own damned nose……

Oh – and you and your wife celebrating patients suffering? What a nice couple you are…….”I’m glad we can take medicine away from people who need it”

Please move back to whatever rock you climbed out from under in whatever state you came from. You most certainly are NOT a Montanan.

Montana Connect Magazine
P.O. Box 432
Lincoln, MT 59639
~ We Bring Integrity & Credibility to the Medical Cannabis Industry~

_________________________________
On Fri, 8 Apr 2011 15:37:19 -0600, “Rep. James Knox” wrote:

 

FYI that post is slanderous and photo shopped I have initiated legal actions. If you actually can believe my wife would actually say that or I would in such poor English say something. Your high. Oh you are.
Thank you,
Rep. James Knox
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES KNOX House District 47
406-534-9582
“There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.” George Washington, letter to Edmund Randolph, July 31, 1795
______________________________________
Knox, by informing others that I used Photoshop to create a false post from Alicia Knox that he claims doesn’t actually exist (although it did before it was deleted) he is actually slandering ME.  Admonishing Hiedi over his unwillingness to use poor English gave me a chuckle because the post in question was actually one of his finer ones grammatically speaking. To mock a legitimate cannabis patient, calling her “high”, however; is reprehensible.
I must admit that posts about Knox were initially sort of sickly entertaining but now, I’m over it.  I’m tired of him hearing of his antics.  I’m tired of him mocking critically ill Montana voters, I’m tired of paying his salary and $733/mo health benefits, and I’m tired of him embarrassing the Republican Party (of which I’m a disgruntled member) and most of all, I’m tired of his actions contributing to our legislature’s public humiliation.  A biennial legislative session shouldn’t remind us of a Jerry Springer or Days of our Lives episode.

Do we really want someone like this representing us?

Interested in more information about James Knox? See the following links:

Eating our Own, A How to Manual By Rep James Knox

James Knox: Montanafesto Links

James Knox: Montana Cowgirl Blog Links

James Knox: Intelligent Discontent Links

James Knox: 4&20 Blackbirds Links

Perhaps you’d like to watch him cry?

Here are some more screenshots for your viewing pleasure.  I didn’t use photoshop on them- they are disgusting enough without alteration.  Click on each thumbnail to expand to full size.



 

Dear Mr Zabawa or Milburn, Essmann, Howard, Knox, and company


UPDATE: Zabawa’s testimony on SB 423 today can be viewed here. This morning another of our bloggers received a Facebook friend request from “Mercedes Benz- Billings”, an auto dealership in part owned by one of our favorite prohibitionists, Brother Steve Zabawa.  A source within one of Zabawa’s businesses confirmed that the Facebook page indeed belonged to Zabawa so she sent a…. factually scathing message in response to the request.  After I posted her words to Zabawa on our blog’s Facebook page earlier today, she posted a comment clarifying the post.  She said that she’d received a polite response from the dealership, from a “product specialist” who claimed to monitor the page.  Although making it clear he understood his employer’s motivations and respected his right to express his opinions, he assured her that not everyone within the dealership was aligned with Zabawa’s agenda.  Because the friend request apparently did not originate with Steve Zabawa, I pondered whether or not he’d ever see her words.  After much (not really) thought, in the case that Zabawa was indeed shielded from the criticism, I took the liberty of posting it here,  utilizing , in vain, our public forum in hopes that Zabawa would notice, take heed, and engage his opponents in a productive discussion.  While the letter was written to Zabawa, the intended target could have been nearly any Republican currently serving in our state legislature as well.  I challenge any puritanical republican to address the concerns mentioned in the following letter:


Nicole French April 6 at 2:08pm
Dear Mr Zabawa, 

Considering your opposition to personal liberties, obsession with control and devotion to driving the legislative process in the opposite direction voters desire, I am puzzled by your motives in requesting my friendship.

It appears a vast majority of your Facebook friends are politically active Republicans, so initially I assumed you were innocently seeking more local political connections, but I suspect your request isn’t so innocent. Do your liberty-minded Republican friends support your determined effort to not only overturn legislation created and approved by our state’s voters, but force seriously ill Montanans to make the unfathomable choice to either participate in a crime or needlessly suffer from a debilitating condition? You may be surprised.

Whether you are aware or not, I have defended your organization in public forums on countless occasions- primarily on principle as I believe each party involved in a conflict deserves an opportunity to dispel false accusations. Isn’t that odd? Although I do not know you personally and generally am opposed to the sort of licentious behavior of which your establishment is regularly accused, I am a principled and honorable human being, always willing to participate in open and honest discussion- which is where you and I obviously differ.

What I find most astounding about your group’s opposition to the creation of a regulated industry is your continual refusal to participate in any sort of pro-active conflict resolution discussion. Although many consider you and the other group members to be truly moronic, I disagree. Your recurrent fallacious testimony quickly elucidates any possibility of a naive ignorance.

I will overlook your unwillingness to acknowledge science and patient testimonials for a moment to examine political principles. Republicans fight for smaller government, a free market, retaining more of what we make, and especially liberty. Although I’m not a cannabis user, I appreciate the freedom to choose, with my physician, alternative forms of treating illnesses. Our federal government runs Amtrak, the US Postal Service, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid…. the list of insolvent entities goes on and on. The FDA has approved a litany of drugs that kill Americans on a daily basis, but yet so many are comforted by the federal government’s approval or disapproval of substances. It is astounding that any intelligent American would appreciate federal intervention in any manner beyond the power granted by our Constitution.

Liberty is integral to being an American and especially so to many Montanans. Our voters approved the use of this substance and overturning their wishes is truly reprehensible. If this truly “isn’t what Montanans voted for”, those citizens would place reform or repeal on the ballot. To date, no one has successfully done so, so I adhere to the belief that what we have now, however flawed it may be, is closer to voters’ intentions than an outright repeal.

In testimony of marijuana opponents, I hear of frequent abuses of the current statutes, exploitation of patients in pursuit of profits, use in schools, illegal diversion of medical cannabis, the list is endless. What I fail to understand is why those perpetrators are not as a result, arrested. The industry begged regulation and especially for enforcement. Three previous legislative sessions failed to address the concerns and the “frequent abuses” have apparently gone unpunished. Patients who legitimately, effectively, and safely treat their conditions with cannabis are instead the targets of your mission.

Laws aren’t created to provide a substitute for competent parenting and historically prohibition primarily benefits criminals. Actual drug dealers, the predatory sort, not the state-licensed law-abiding providers you are complaining about today, will return to their profitable businesses- without paying taxes, hiring employees, or adhering to any sort of ethical protocol. The dangers to our communities and kids presented by prescription drug and alcohol abuse far surpass those created by allowing legal medical use of cannabis. For this reason, I’m shocked you would continue this obsession while ignoring the most dire dangers facing our state.

We owe our children more than the false “safety” that destroying an industry may provide. We owe them the truth. The truth is, overturning a citizens initiative is an assault on our Constitution and rights. The topic itself, however discomforting you consider it, should not determine that the right of the people to self-govern is void. Montana’s constitution does not define the right to citizens initiative to be inclusive of only what is palatable to the elected.
Montana voters spoke. The governing body has now decided to use the power of position to arrogate. This is a wrongful use of power and is symbolic of the underlining reason the people’s distrust of all things government has become so palpable.

Perhaps your understanding of the long-term repercussions of such action would require a personal stake in it. For your sake, I truly hope that you and your loved ones are never presented with as dire of consequences as you are seeking for Montana’s infirm.

Upon receiving this message, should you decide to address my concerns, I will accept your offer of friendship. You and I won’t necessarily ever agree on this particular issue, but we likely would on virtually all others. I hope, through not only education but by setting a positive example, that someday the vast conflict surrounding this particular substance is reduced substantially.

Sincerely,
Nicole French

Truth is Treason in the Empire of Lies UPDATED with VIDEO


I am well aware that no politician is likely to ever please me on every issue at every opportunity, but I take no pleasure in this post.  I never dreamed that Senator Chas Vincent, R- Libby, would deviate from intentions expressed in public statements, he simply doesn’t strike me as the type.  Maybe i simply set the bar too high after hearing he leans libertarian, expecting someone with the integrity and consistency of Dr Ron Paul, which isn’t quite fair.  To put it bluntly, I’m very disappointed, not only in Senator Vincent, but in most of our legislature and especially the Republican Party.  In a few short months, we’ve abandoned all campaign promises of smaller government and more freedom in exchange for an agenda of power and control.

Since the session began, I’ve watched the GOP work hard so gay people are considered just a little less than human by utilizing hateful bigoted people who under the God- umbrella can get away with statements about putting them to death simply to ensure we can still retain the unconstitutional laws declaring their behavior felonious.  Instead of working with patients, growers and  physicians, the GOP went in their own direction, choosing arbitrary numbers as limits, regulating not only all access, but also supply and demand of a medicine in our new marijuana socialism game.  Instead of fixing a law to benefit patients and business, we wasted time on ridiculous legislation to force the US to leave the United Nations and to return to the gold standard, but now it is clear that the GOP is entirely heartless.  Drunk on our own power, seeking more control and regulation, we are a party I don’t even recognize.  I commend Sen Murphy for his courageous stand in opposition to the Republicans in the legislature and I must admit I was impressed by the testimony of Sen. Wanzenried and Sen Gillan, who of course are democrats.

Don’t get me started on dishonesty.  Montana’s legislators are well aware that hearings are live streamed and later available in the archives- so one would think they’d pay greater detail to honesty while testifying in legislative hearings. They know very well that someone could easily use their words against them.  According to the Billings Gazette:

Sen. Chas Vincent, R-Libby, who previously opposed the repeal bill and helped write the repeal-and-overhaul bill, said he felt compelled to vote for the repeal after what happened Wednesday.

He talked about drug abuse in schools and contended that organized crime is involved in medical marijuana here.

“I have no choice,” he said. “I did all that I could. I’d encourage everyone in my caucus and the few of you that are not satisfied with the status quo to give (HB161) the green light.”

Poor Senator Vincent appeared somewhat reluctant,  frustrated and at times almost desperate as he lamented the wasted time spent on Essmann’s reform legislation as well as the Senate game-playing.  He also said:

“Talk about political suicide, for crying out loud,” he said. “My county didn’t even vote for medical marijuana. It went down in my county. I’m in the minority in my caucus, and I’m going against my base for what I believe to be a principled decision.” VIDEO here

When  he informed us that his district, SD1 had rejected I-148 – voting against it in 2004,  I sincerely sympathized with his position in the lonely minority and almost felt guilty about it.  His vote did disappoint me but I found it difficult to remain angry at him because this was, after all; his job, doing the best by his constituents, who apparently weren’t supportive of our cause.  I couldn’t expect much more from him.

My brain doesn’t take many breaks.  I truly wasn’t aware of SD1’s opposition of  Initiative 148 until Vincent’s testimony, so I decided to determine just how many others I wasn’t aware of.  The following is a screenshot from 2004’s elections with final tallies on I-148 for Vincent’s district, Lincoln County.

Clearly, Lincoln County did NOT reject I-148. 61% approved the measure.

This sounds like a completely different Senator Vincent than the one portrayed here, in an article titled “Republican State Senator Stands Out in the Pack, Opposes Repeal of Medical Marijuana“.  Also in the article:

“I am not going to support the repeal,” said Republican Sen. Chas Vincent, a 33-year-old former logger who holds a key vote in the judiciary committee. “I believe that cannabis has real, beneficial impacts to those who need to use it for medicine.”

I’m going to give Vincent the benefit of the doubt about his knowledge of his senate district’s position of  I- 148 in 2004, but just this once.  Perhaps he was nervous or is clueless about his district.  Surely the guilt involved with abandoning principles to appease party leadership making the best decision for his constituents wouldn’t inspire lies  in effort to convince us of his sincerity, right?  Because Vincent’s most compelling argument for me was the one that we now know isn’t true, I am no longer willing to forgive his vote.   I have a  difficult time believing that any member of this particular session’s leadership is capable of convincing a principled senator that the courageous vote is the one with the rest of the party.  Where is that libertarian streak we keep hearing about?  I know that Ron Paul without a doubt wouldn’t have voted to repeal Montana’s medical marijuana law.

Dramatic Senate Standoff Provides Beacon of Hope to Drug Dealers Across the Nation


Safe Community, Safe Kids asked Montana "who will stand up for your kids?" I hope they enjoy their answer.

Drug dealers, cartels and gangs of organized criminals are salivating at the employment opportunities being created in Montana by Republicans in the legislature.  Other criminal drug enterprises are excited at the prospects of adding marijuana back into their line-ups of available illegal substances.  The prohibition party apparently believes  advancing their moral agenda under the guise of making our community and kids safer is worth actually risking our state’s safety and our kid’s futures by advancing legislation which unintentionally but effectively stimulates illegal drug activity in Montana.  Since Montana allowed the medical use of cannabis, the state has enjoyed continually improving crime rates.  Will Montana’s crime rates skyrocket after elected leaders legislatively subsidize the criminal narcotics element?

A number of factors contributed to a dramatic and surprising outcome of Sen. Jeff Essmann’s socialistic (government-controlled access, supply and demand) SB 423 reading  in the Montana Senate,  which in a shocking move, instantly revived dying HB 161, a full repeal of Montana’s medical marijuana law passed in 2004 by citizen’s initiative.  Republican Senate  leadership apparently misjudged or overlooked Wednesday’s deadline for SB 423 to proceed to the House.  In order to accommodate the looming deadline, a rules suspension was required to allow the bill to be heard and voted upon twice in one day. The Senate GOP majority was on first attempt unable to obtain the required 2/3 majority votes necessary to suspend the rules. After the initial rules suspension vote failed, Sen. Brenden of Scobey retaliated, making a successful blast motion sending Rep Milburn’s repeal legislation, HB 161, which had stalled after a deadlock in the Senate Judiciary Committee, to the Senate floor for full debate.  Disappointed at unfruitful attempts to cash in some bargaining chips in exchange for support, Democrats persevered, undaunted even after Republicans resurrected HB 161, in obvious attempt to intimidate dissenting senators in hopes of threatening gently persuading them. The GOP again failed to produce the necessary votes.

The blame for the likely demise of medical marijuana reform legislation, according to many Republicans rests  squarely on the left- Governor Schweitzer’s office in particular.  Senate majority leader Jeff Essmann, who sponsored the “reform” bill in question was quick to criticize the governor’s office for utilizing the entire 6 days allowed by rules to prepare a fiscal note detailing the financial impact of the legislation.  The bill’s fiscal note was only available Wednesday morning which didn’t allow enough time for separate votes on the legislation, according to Senator Essmann.  Fortunately for the Republicans, the bill still has the ability to proceed to the House- but only if the house too is willing to approve a suspension of the rules, also requiring a 2/3  majority vote.  In the event that the House fails to garner the necessary numbers, the reform bill is considered dead.  The House’s  repeal-friendly political climate suggests a  house-approved rules suspension may be unlikely, although not entirely impossible.

Montana’s left wing, proactively seeking a workable solution made numerous attempts at compromise with Republicans to no avail- an increasingly common occurrence this session. Some Democrats hoped to exchange rules suspension votes for Republican support of unrelated legislation such as the bonding bill but Republicans refused to cooperate. Still 0ther Democrat senators claimed their votes against rules suspension were due to Republicans killing a majority of  the thoughtful amendments to SB 423 sponsored by Democrats.  Without the amendments, the legislation was considered by many, a repeal bill masquerading as reform. The legislation unamended, also  lacked the support of patients and facility owners alike.   Naturally, Republicans have responded to charges of being uncooperative with Democrat legislators by leveling their own at the Democrat legislators.  While I’m inclined to support Republicans in most right-left battles, Republicans in this case appear to be drunk on power and for reasons unknown,  determined to eliminate any chance at their own success in 2012 elections.   Sanity is currently a questionable diagnosis for this party so I’m reluctant to buy their stories.  This time the Democrats seem more credible- even if only by default- as Republicans have displayed such a  compelling propensity for dishonesty this session.

The  high-drama political spectacle orchestrated by Senate Republicans today was a gift to illegal drug dealers and associated organized criminals who now can  optimistic about their realistic chances of soon controlling the market, supply, and prices of marijuana in Montana.  Montana’s medical cannabis industry has driven illegal marijuana dealers out of the state.  Competing with legitimate state-licensed facilities wasn’t attractive to the black market criminals who watched prices plummet after card-holding customers began utilizing licensed caregivers.  Most marijuana currently sells for around half the price it did prior to enacting Montana’s medical cannabis law which was passed in 2004.  Historically, prohibition is beneficial for gangs and organized criminals.  Quality always suffers and prices increase.

Essmann frequently mentions”This isn’t what Montanans voted for”  although I’m certain he doesn’t know either.  I doubt Montanans would in good conscience support legislation  for the “greater good” that would actually cause further degradation of our society, but because repeal would require overturning an initiative passed by Montana citizens anyway, they should have an opportunity,  just in case Essmann doesn’t  actually know what we thought we were voting for.

Considering the widespread use of marijuana, a safe and effective substance, is likely to continue regardless of legislation passed in Montana, one wonders why the GOP would destroy an entire industry, thus ensuring virtually associated money ends up smuggled in backpacks to northern California instead of being spent in Montana. Tough choices, legislators:  Contribute to our own state’s depressed economy or fund drug dealing  California criminals? Thousands of Montanans employed by the medical cannabis industry or thousands of Montanans drawing unemployment benefits draining resources?  Legitimately ill patients obtaining medicine in a safe, clean and professional atmosphere or patients self-medicating with marijuana they acquired in a dark alley via terrifying strangers while risking their freedom to relieve their pain? The choice is clear but unfortunately your legislators aren’t listening.

Spoiled Speaker Milburn Punishes Detractors, Montanans Suffer


Mike Milburn, Montana’s Republican Speaker of the House is reportedly angry with the Senate Judiciary Committee for killing his precious little bill, HB161 and has been clearly seeking retribution in a rather juvenile manner.

Friday morning, as many are aware, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Jeff Essmann’s anti-free market bill to destroy the medical cannabis industry and significantly increase the healthcare costs and risks of thousands of Montanans, in part by forcing patients to obtain expensive, frequent and unnecessary MRI and CT tests.  Generally, hearings on medical marijuana are held in rooms on the first floor of the Capitol because it is significantly easier patients with debilitating medical conditions to access the room and many handicapped people typically testify at the hearings on this issue and accessing the third floor of the Capitol is rather difficult for many of them.  These hearings have historically attracted hundreds of patients who want their voice heard and the first floor is better suited for an overflow crowd.

Some may have noticed that Friday’s hearing was on the 3rd floor, in the old Supreme Court Chambers though.  Why? Milburn was asked if he would switch his house committee out of a first floor room to accommodate the hearing on Essmann’s draconian SB423.  Milburn responded that he’d absolutely not be accommodating any of the Senate Judiciary hearings because they killed his bill that would repeal Montana’s citizen’s initiative allowing the medical use of cannabis.  One wonders how this issue could be so important to Milburn that he is willing to partake in such childish behavior, perhaps he has some sort of undisclosed financial interest.

Sadly, this sort of petty behavior has become rather common at the legislature- Republicans from the House and Senate regularly poke each other on random issues, according to our source.  Apparently, the House is angry that the Senate is killing some of the more extreme (and ridiculous) bills so the House seeks revenge by playing petty games and punishing patients in the process.  The house has also killed some legislation Senate legislation that Republicans would, and should, typically support.  Where are those compassionate conservatives we’ve heard about?  Surely not in Montana.
Why are our elected officials playing playground games on our dime? This is abhorrent behavior and the Republican legislative leadership should be absolutely ashamed. Unfortunately it appears that our myopic GOP legislators feel they are beyond reproach as they blindly execute their  “morally-superior” agenda, hopefully also executing their political futures in the process.
Montana deserves better leadership and legislation based in facts, not dramatizations or ignorant, maniacal talking points.   Several US government health and cancer agencies have recently admitted marijuana is an effective medication for cancer and other debilitating diseases- whether you agree or not, these are real Montanans with legitimate medical conditions- not some faceless crowd of stoned hippies.  The Montana voters decided, when legislators weren’t willing, to approve the medical use of cannabis, abolishing or severely restricting the industry should be a decision only voters make.  Why should we allow the same people who were too lazy to address the issue in the past to now create legislation to regulate this industry after they’ve repeatedly refused education and clearly remain ignorant?

SIX


Six brave Republicans had the good sense to jump off the GOP's sinking ship

Six Republicans- yes, only SIX of them- crossed party lines to vote against Speaker Milburn’s HB 161 (repealing medical marijuana). The bill passed the house with a final vote tally of 63-37 and is now headed for appropriations.

We’ve all done a lot of criticizing this week.  We’ve sent lots of desperate emails, we’ve called countless times and many of us have been in Helena participating in the legislative process.  We’ve been disappointed over and over and although the bill still passed the house, there is a ray of hope in Sen Dave Lewis’s SB 154 which is a hybrid of his original bill, one by Diane Sands, and the MMGA legislator’s packet.   Please take a moment to thank the brave R’s listed below, their courage is appreciated.

UPDATE: We’ve heard these 6 republicans are now under tremendous pressure to change their final votes.  Please let them know we appreciate their courage and that we won’t forget it.

STEVE GIBSON (R) HD 78 – East Helena
Montana House of Representatives
PO Box 200400
Helena, MT 59620-0400
(406) 444-4800
stevedgibson52@gmail.com

JERRY O’NEIL (R) HD 3 – Columbia Falls
Montana House of Representatives
PO Box 200400
Helena, MT 59620-0400
(406) 444-4800
oneil@centurytel.net

MIKE MILLER (R) HD 84 – Helmville
Montana House of Representatives
PO Box 200400
Helena, MT 59620-0400
(406) 444-4800
mike4hd84@blackfoot.net

BOB WAGNER (R) HD 71 – Harrison
Montana House of Representatives
PO Box 200400
Helena, MT 59620-0400
(406)444-4800
bobwagner4leg@yahoo.com

AUSTIN KNUDSEN (R) HD 36 – Culbertson
Montana House of Representatives
PO Box 200400
Helena, MT 59620-0400
(406)444-4800
austinforhouse@yahoo.com

STERLING SMALL (R) HD 41 – Busby
Montana House of Representatives
PO Box 200400
Helena, MT 59620-0400
(406)444-4800
badcatsmall@yahoo.com

Meet thee saviors, ye lowly Montanans aka Introducing Your God Squad


Savin yous fools from yourselfs.

For your reading and viewing pleasure, today’s post is a linkfest allowing you to get to know some of the key players in the Montana GOP’s quest to save you from yourself.  Most of the links are recent bad press, but a couple of the holier than thous have managed to avoid negative publicity for a few months.  I’ve still included several older links to relevant stories however.  There is no doubt that I missed plenty of stories on plenty of your protectors, but I suffered from information overload as there were just too many great examples of recent hypocrisy within my own party.

Entire Montana GOP: “GOP abandons its principles”

House Speaker Milburn:  “GOP Speaker Caught Skipping Votes to Party” , “Medical Marijuana Repeal Bill Draws Heavy Opposition in MT”

"Marijuana is Hurricane Katrina" Milburn

"I promise to vote yes on HB 161"- James Knox

Rep. James Knox: “James Knox Responds, Logic Takes a Beating”“Interesting Comments From James Knox”“Knox questions why Don Pogreba doesn’t like threats”“Why aren’t James Knox and MT GOP focused on jobs?”

Rep Cary Smith (R-Billings) and wife, Susan Smith: “Conservative Constitutional Seminar at Capitol Stirs Controversy”

Mr and Mrs At least we admit to having a moral agenda Smith

Shockley: “Senator Shockley wants medical marijuana OUT of Montana”, “Senator Shockley in wake of open container violation steps down”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Zabawa (owner of Rimrock Auto Group and Mercedes Benz dealership, passionate LDS supporter of repealing medical marijuana):  “Lawsuits Plague Dealership” Be CERTAIN to read the comments.   “Fed probe looked at Rimrock” “Rimrock Auto Group Stole Parents Identity”

 

Zabawa wants opiate- I mean marijuana- addicts to stop breaking into his car dealerships


Cherrie Brady: “ATTN Montana Caregivers and Patients”, This brilliant piece WRITTEN by Ms Brady: “Is Montana going to pot?”, “Could Montana be the first to repeal Medi-Pot?”

Speaker Milburn’s Prohibitionist Circus: What happened to free will and personal responsibility?


 

Today a hearing was held on Speaker Mike Milburn’s HB 161, to repeal medical marijuana.   Comparing the medical marijuana industry to Hurricane Katrina,  Milburn’s arguments were largely based on fear, exaggerations and pure ignorance.   I think Montanans expect more from our elected officials- especially those in leadership.   Instead of focusing on fiscal reforms, fixing the economy, and job creation, Republican leadership in the 2011 legislative session seems intent to legislate their warped idea of morality upon the entire state of Montana.

 

While all testimony was allowed for the 28 proponents of Milburn’s bill, after only a handful of the 86 opponents testified, the rest were limited to stating only their name and position on the bill.  I wonder if there had been only one person speaking in favor of a bill, if they would be granted an entire hour to speak.

Arguments in favor of repealing the medical marijuana law included statements about Montana now being discussed as a “source country”, similar to Columbia or Afghanistan.  Some said our state is over saturated with marijuana while others discussed how the 58 myriad medical marijuana cardholders drug cartel members under 18 have turned our schools into drug infested ghettos.   One man mentioned that marijuana caregivers addicts next door had buried a van in the backyard… which reminded him of  a murderer marijuana addict who kidnapped, raped, tortured and killed a girl in WY before burying her car.  A pastor mentioned praying pot plants would die while he also wondered why such good looking women were interested in horticultural adventures.

Although the opponents of the bill included a VERY diverse group of Montanans- a little person, former police officers, veterans of several wars, and disabled people in wheelchairs, those in favor of repealing the law were responsible for turning the hearing into something resembling a circus.  The ignorance displayed by our house speaker and proponents of his selfish and shameful bill have pushed me farther left on the political spectrum than ever before.  Lord help me.

 

Milburn looks so happy to take medicine from almost 30,000 Montanans

 

 

 

 

Blowing Smoke: Montana Legislators Campaign Promises vs Actual Legislative Agenda


Today is the opening day of Montana’s 90 day biennial legislative session.   Legislators continue to talk tough about the governor’s structurally unbalanced budget, opting out of national health care reform mandates, eliminating expansion of the size and scope government, job creation and other issues important to Montanans.  As always, however; there seems to be a great divide between what the legislators SAY and what they DO.  One such prime example is the emphasis the legislature is placing on repealing or reforming Initiative 148- Montana’s medical marijuana law passed by 64% of Montanans in 2004.  Currently, there are approximately 27,000 Montana medical marijuana patients as well as 5000 caregivers.  The economic impact, although unintended; is staggering.
Despite:
  • Recent Gallup polls indicating 58% of Americans in western states favor the full legalization of the use of marijuana  (48% of Americans overall)
  • The December Missoula  “marijuana mutiny” trial where prosecutors were unable to seat a jury after one by one, prospective jurors expressed their unwillingness to convict on possession of a small amount of marijuana.  The case received national attention from the Wall Street Journal’s legal blog to the Huffington Post and many Montanans were outraged at the expense of trying a man for possession of two buds of marijuana.
  • Recent quotes by Montana Republican legislators: “I do believe that moral issues are a very important part of politics and our society … and they’re personally important to me, also,” Speaker of the House Mike Milburn said. “But the focus of this session and the focus of Montana right now has to do with the economy and getting people back to work.”  Oddly enough, Mike Milburn has been actively working to repeal the medical marijuana law.
  • Recent quotes from Montana Democrat legislators:  ““We’ve got to concentrate on the things that matter and not be distracted by these proposals from the past,” added incoming House Minority Leader Jon Sesso, D-Butte. “Unless the proposal can show us that it is going to directly improve the lot of Montanans out of work, or those who are under-employed, we’re going to resist it.”

Montana legislators, primarily Republicans who campaigned on pro-business, pro-jobs, and anti-big government platforms; are proposing a host of bills ranging from fully repealing the law to regulating the industry to death.  Considering that most Republicans have criticized Obamacare, complaining that  the government has no right to step into the relationship between a physician and patient, it seems very odd that Senator Jeff Essmann would draft a bill proposing a 3 physician panel to determine if a patient does indeed have chronic pain.  Apparently he knows more about legitimate medical conditions than a trained physician.  I wonder how Essmann, an attorney, would feel about a doctor proposing laws to oversee his representation of clients.

Democrats too are in on the game.  Gov. Brian Schweitzer said he’s “absolutely convinced” a large number of Montanans with medical marijuana cards don’t have legitimate medical needs and just want to smoke marijuana “quasi-legally.”

“What we need to do is create a system so that we have people who actually have a medical need for marijuana,” he said in an interview with the Billings Gazette. “There will be a bill that will make it to my desk that is going to sort of close the loopholes in this medical marijuana. It needs to be done. I think currently the law is, ‘smoke ’em if you got ’em.’ ”

As I’ve said before, Republicans in Montana were handed majorities in both houses on a silver platter- not because they were Republicans but because they were NOT Democrats.  The victories were not mandates and the Republicans should not be spending political capital they did not earn.  Balance the budget, create some jobs, allow Montana to opt out of Obamacare….. then the capital will be earned.  Proposing unnecessary social reforms in a time of fiscal crisis will ensure not only a loss of Republican majorities but potentially a loss of the governor seat as well in 2012.   Stop trying to legislate morality.  Nobody has ever died of a marijuana overdose in the history of time.  Focus on what matters to Montana, drugs are at the bottom of the list according to the Montana Chamber of Commerce Power Base survey, voter ID interviews, and overwhelming public sentiment.

Did Montana’s GOP Legislators Get the Message? Maybe, Maybe Not


Is Montana's 2011 Legislature Being Led by RINOs?

“This election sent a clear message. America looked socialism in the eye and they said we’re scared.” Mike Milburn, Montana House Speaker.

Indeed.  Why then are Montana Republican legislators being discouraged from associating with  bills seeking to repeal national healthcare reform mandates? Rumors are circulating that Senate President Jim Peterson (R-Buffalo) and Majority Leader Jeff Essman (R-Billings) have asked legislators sponsoring bills calling for  the repeal of Obamacare not to proceed after a legislative analyst suggested the Senate should not be focusing on such legislation this session.

Is it up to legislative analysts to direct our future?  If Attorney General Steve Bullock continues refusal to join other states filing suit against the mandates,  it will have to be addressed legislatively.  Many states are pursuing repeals of the unpopular law which was recently ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.  About the decision, Montana’s lone representative Denny Rehberg had this to say.

“After months of rate increases and service reductions, Montanans continue to wait for true health care reform that lowers costs and increases access.  The sooner that Obamacare is wiped off the books, the sooner we can get to work finding real solutions that benefit Montanans instead of the powerful interests in Washington, D.C.  Most of the folks I’ve heard from will be happy with the decision in Virginia, and are only upset that an independent-minded state like Montana has sat quietly on the sidelines while other states take the fight to the overzealous federal government.  It’s past time for Montana to get in this game.”

We elected conservatives to REPEAL Obamacare, to STOP the growth of the government’s size and scope, to CREATE jobs and STIMULATE the economy.

We did NOT elect republicans to take the pragmatic approach.  We did NOT elect republicans to negotiate deals with radical environmentalists and other liberals in effort to gain leadership positions.  We did NOT elect Republicans to work with Schweitzer.  When our elected officials appease progressives, Marxist ideals increase exponentially.  We cannot abandon constitutional principles under any circumstances.

Moderation is dangerous in today’s world.  The leftists aren’t moderates- they are socialists.  Negotiating with them is a recipe for death of our republic.   Montanans elected conservatives in November to rail against Marxist ideals, not to dilute our principles.  Many GOP legislators were elected not because they were Republicans but because they were not progressives. Montanans aren’t concerned with social issues this time around, our future is hanging by a thread.  Our government has lost its way as legislators have compromised their values in favor of “bipartisan” efforts.

Advice to elected GOP officials:

  • Fiscal  concerns trump all religious agendas.  Accomplish what we elected you to do and you will earn political capital.  Don’t waste our future in mediation with thieves.  If your principles don’t cost you anything, they weren’t worth very much.
  • Stop preaching that we all need to remember why Republicans were elected unless your actions are consistent with your message.  That means you are a hypocrite for sponsoring bills to repeal medical marijuana when Montanans are concerned with fiscal issues.  If you want any credibility, you must counter that proposed loss of 5000 caregiver jobs with creation of at least that many positions.
  • Don’t act like Baucus and Tester.  Both US Senators ignored their constituents and made decisions that will affect Montana forever.  In the process, they made passionate enemies on both sides of the aisle.  Progressives say they didn’t do enough while we say they overstepped the Constitution to advance an unwelcome agenda.
  • Remember that you were elected not to rule, but to serve.
  • Integrity requires courage.  You took an oath.  It does mean something.  Worry more about being respected than about being popular.

The 2011 Legislative Session will reveal if we wasted time helping liberals get elected as Republicans.  Hopefully instead, our efforts will be rewarded with consistent conservative votes and a structurally balanced budget.  Hopefully the rumors are unfounded but regardless, don’t hesitate to call/write/email your legislators.  Tell them you expect Montana to repeal/nullify/opt out of Obamacare.

Elected on Fiscally Conservative Platforms, Montana Legislators Focus Instead on Social Issues


Montana Republican legislators apparently didn’t get the message that  we don’t  really care about the legislators’ pet causes and social issues this session.  Campaigning on platforms of fiscal responsibility and smaller government, it didn’t take long for them to start drafting hundreds of bills about issues Montanans aren’t currently concerned about. The Republicans have obviously been derailed from  their promises of fiscal reform in favor of  an all-star Jeff Lazloffy style dream team of legislative proposals from repealing medical marijuana to further restricting abortions.

November’s election wasn’t a GOP mandate.  It was a GIFT.  People didn’t vote for the GOP, they voted against everything progressivism represents.  Unfortunately, the legislators seem more concerned with their own puritan religious agendas.  In a lengthy recession, it seems blatantly hypocritical for Republican legislators to be so hell-bent on repealing the medical marijuana law which has provided employment for thousands (there are currently 5000 or so caregivers in MT) of people in Montana as well as adding substantially to our state’s economy.

Republicans need to decide whether they actually do support smaller government or if they support it only when it suits their morals.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of the murder of unborn babies, nor do  I think medical marijuana dispensaries should be located next to schools, I just think that the Republicans better wake up before they are punished at the polls for ignoring their constituency.  Many of us spent countless hours conducting voter ID surveys door to door  throughout Montana.  In our group, do you know how many of us encountered voters whose primary concern was medical marijuana or abortion?  ZERO.  Overwhelmingly,  respondents declared that the economy and jobs were the concerns most pressing.

“We need to recognize why were elected as Republicans,” said Rep. Mike Milburn, House Speaker . “We need to all band together and head down that same road.”

Why then is Milburn proposing a repeal of the entire medical marijuana law? That is NOT why we elected Republicans in the 2010 elections.   We  elected them  to create jobs and repair our struggling economy. Please tell me how eliminating 5000 caregiver jobs will be good for our economy?  Does the law need some changes and clarifications?  Certainly, I won’t disagree with that.  Let’s listen to the Montana voters this time though, keep the focus on the economy.